Jesus Blesses Little Children
(Matthew 19.13-15; Luke 18.15-17)
13Some people brought their children to Jesus so he could bless them by placing his hands on them. But his disciples told the people to stop bothering him.
14When Jesus saw this, he became angry and said, “Let the children come to me! Don't try to stop them. People who are like these little children belong to the kingdom of God. 15 I promise you that you cannot get into God's kingdom, unless you accept it the way a child does.” 16Then Jesus took the children in his arms and blessed them by placing his hands on them.
Children rely on their parents or caregivers to feed them, to clothe them, to love and care for them. They trust freely. They expect that they will be nourished and nurtured. Children instinctively know how to get on with growing and discovering.
In today’s passage we sense the love Jesus had for the children who were being brought to him. He was quick to reprimand the disciples (v 14) because they were trying to shoo the little ones and their caregivers away. There is no indication that the children were sick or in need of any type of healing, but those who brought the children were eager to present them to Jesus to receive a spiritual blessing. The disciples were annoyed at the intrusion. Perhaps they thought noisy children were not welcomed at the feet of Jesus. They should have known better. They were acting contrary to the nature and compassion of Christ and they were obviously misunderstanding their role as disciples. Jesus did not require a gatekeeper. The disciples’ quick judgment soon landed them in hot water.
Jesus became angry with their thoughtless action towards the children. The disciples soon learned the importance of allowing the children to come to Jesus. Christians should never hinder anyone who wants to meet Jesus. Believers need to have the welcome mat out at all times and seize opportunities to introduce others to Jesus.
Blessed Father,I know children are special to you. You often speak about childlike faith. Please Lord, help me have that same child-like trust and total dependency on you. I know that when I fully rely on you I will be blessed and fulfilled. In the loving name of Jesus. Amen.